Whenever I am asked about traveling to Spiti Valley, I mostly suggest people not to prefer traveling to Spiti Valley from Manali and rather opt to travel Spiti Valley from Shimla – Kinnaur side because of better acclimatization as the altitude increases gradually on this route. However, a lot of people want to travel to Spiti Valley from Manali side still and I am sure they somehow incline/prefer one of the reasons I described in one of my previous articles, 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Manali Route
Teaser… Spiti Valley from Manali…
Today in this article, I will be suggesting a most common itinerary to travel to Spiti Valley from Manali side and make best use of the time and energy to explore most parts of this hidden, magical middle land in the lap of trans-Himalayas. I have already suggested Spiti Valley from Shimla – Kinnaur| Most Common Itinerary, where I did mention that sooner or later Ladakh will be full of mad rush of tourists, almost you can see the glimpse of this thing happening in season time. However, Spiti Valley is altogether untouched as of now and people mostly confuse it with Lahaul Valley or they are more or less restricted to only a visit to Chandratal (Read my Travel Guide to Chandratal here). The real beauty of Spiti Valley starts beyond Kunzum Pass, towards Losar then to Kaza and then towards Tabo and then towards Nako or Kinnaur Valley… Not to forget the Pin Valley in between and there is hell lot of heavenly beauty to explore in Spiti Valley.
This article covers almost all major places in Spiti Valley including Tabo, Kaza, Losar, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass, Ki, Kibber, Pin Valley etc. There are two routes to enter Spiti Valley viz. Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza AND Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Kinnaur Valley – Tabo – Kaza. So, you can see that one can enter from one side (say Manali) and exit back to Delhi from other side (Shimla) making it a complete circuit.
Here, I will be starting from Manali side and exiting from Shimla but it has a major disadvantage. Spiti Valley is a cold desert situated in Trans Himalayan region at an altitude of 11000+ feet mostly and hence, your body will require certain amount of acclimatization before you enter the Spiti Valley. Going via Shimla side will help you gradually increase the altitude and your body gets acclimatized properly, hence less chances of getting hit with Acute Mountain Sickness (read more info on AMS here). If you start from Manali side then you reach High Altitude terrain pretty quickly which increases the chances of Mountain Sickness that can spoil the trip.
Spiti Valley from Manali | Plan for 10 – 11 Days
Below is the most common itinerary for Spiti Valley from Manali spanning over about 10-11 days and making most use of the time.
Day 1 | Delhi – Manali
- Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
- If there is time explore Manali
- Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Old Manali, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
- About 12-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
- Overnight at Solang Valley or Manali
Day 2 | Manali – Rohtang Pass – Battal – Chandratal – Battal
- Head early morning to Chandratal/Kaza via Rohtang Pass
- Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day there
- Drive through Battal – Chattru – Gramphu towards Battal Chandratal is out of the world
- Camps are about 2 KMs from the Chandratal lake, either stay there (not recommended at all) or back to Battal (preferred) where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. Unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity, better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.
- About 7 – 8 Hrs drive easily if you do not get messed up Rohtang Pass or stuck in water crossing
- Overnight at Battal
Day 3 | Chandratal / Battal – Kunzum Pass – Rangrik / Kaza
- Head for Kaza, headquarters of Spiti Valley
- Have lunch at Kaza and check in to Hotel
- There must be some headache or AMS the previous night, but enjoy this magical drive over Kunzum Pass to enter the middle land called Spiti Valley. You will enjoy the drive to Kaza greatly.
- About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimum
- Overnight at Rangrik / Kaza
Day 4 | Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza
- Visit Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang and for more details you can read: Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Local Sightseeing in Kaza
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
- Overnight at Kaza
Day 5 | Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Pin Valley
- Today visit the road less travelled or off beat places near Kaza
- Great view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak from Langza
- Statue of the Buddha near Langza looking down the valley
- Tanggyud monastery at Komik, is one of the most important and the highest monastery in the Spiti Valley
- You can move to Pin Valley if you would like to stay away from hustle bustle of Kaza
- About 2 – 3 Hrs of scenic drive in the day excluding Pin Valley
- If planning to go to Pin Valley, enjoy the most scenic drive of entire Spiti Valley between Losar and Kaza at an easy pace
- About 2 – 2.5 Hrs drive between Pin Valley and Kaza, depending upon the breaks you take in between
- Overnight at Kaza or Pin Valley (Mud Village)
Day 6 | Kaza / Pin Valley (Mud Village) – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Tabo
- Traverse the Pin Valley | Kungri – Sagnam – Mud – Tailing
- Visit Dhangkar Monastery and Dhangkar Lake and leave after early lunch
- Enjoy the magnificent vistas all day
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
- Overnight at Tabo
Day 7 | Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako – Nako Lake – Kalpa
- Start your day early and watch the vistas en route over Hindustan Tibet Highway
- Before Sumdo police registration and after Hurling, detour towards Geyu Village to visit the 500 Year old Mummy
- After Chango – Sumdo you will exit Spiti Valley.
- Meet the dreaded Malling Nalla before of Nako
- Have your lunch at Nako Lake
- Check Out Khab, Confluence of Spiti and Satluj Rivers
- See the Leo Purygal Peak from Khab Bridge
- About 8 – 9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
- Watch the lovely sunset and sunrise (next day) at Kalpa over Mount Kinner Kailash
- Overnight at Kalpa
Day 8 | Kalpa – Sangla / Chitkul
- Leave early to spend some time at beautiful Chitkul Village
- Visit Kamru Fort at Sangla
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of total drive on this day
- Overnight at Sangla / Chitkul
Day 9 | Sangla / Chitkul (Kinnaur Valley) – Shimla / Narkanda
- Leave early and enjoy the vistas en route
- You can plan for lunch at Rampur
- About 8 – 9 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
- Overnight at Shimla / Narkanda
Day 10 | Shimla / Narkanda – Delhi
- Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
- Shimla is about 60 KMs from Narkanda takes about 2 Hrs
- About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
- Overnight at Delhi / sweet home
Day 11-12 | Buffer days to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more 🙂
Add On Days in Spiti Valley??
If you have more days then perhaps you can choose any of the days to explore more beautiful places within Spiti Valley…
- Spend a Day to explore more of Kinnaur Valley, may be after Shimla stay at Sarahan before reaching Sangla or at Chitkul/Sangla itself.
- Spend a Day to explore Rama Valley and Lingti Valley that includes Demul, Lhalung
- Spend a day to explore Mane Village in Spiti Valley or may be a trek to Sopona Lake
Petrol Pumps After Between Shimla – Spiti Valley – Manali
- Narkanda Do Top Up Here
- Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on right side is pretty reliable
- Tapri – New one, not sure if one can rely on it
- Powari – Mostly Closed
- Rekong Peo
- Kaza – Do Not Miss
Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourist do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then just carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on safe side. You can get all the details for these permits and its process at the article linked here
I am sure the above itinerary if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Spiti Valley but can certainly act as a starting point for your upcoming Spiti Valley trip. Do share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you have in comment section or DoW Community | Itinerary Advice forum for Lahaul, Spiti & Kinnaur Valley, and we can discuss more about your upcoming Travel Plans for Spiti Valley 🙂
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